The Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) is a consultative assembly which aims at bringing a regional and local dimension to the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. It gathers 84 members from the EU and its 16 Mediterranean partners who are representatives of regions and local bodies holding a regional or local authority mandate.
The aim of ARLEM is:
- to give the Union for the Mediterranean a territorial dimension;
- to involve local and regional authorities in its further development;
- to demonstrate cooperationbetween local and regional authorities despite major political or institutional barriers;
- to set up projects that contribute to make Euro-Mediterranean relations concrete and tangible for the citizens.
ARLEM is chaired by a co-presidency equally representing the Mediterranean partners and the EU. The co-president from the Mediterranean partners' group is elected for a period of two and a half years. The co-president from the EU is the CoR president-in-office. The current co-presidents are Mrs Mercedes Bresso, President of the Committee of the Regions, and Mr Mohamed Boudra, President of the Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate Region (Morocco).
ARLEM has two Commissions: Commission for Economic, Social and Territorial Affairs (ECOTER) and Commission for Sustainable Development (SUDEV). Each of these Commissions have a maximum of 41 members. The ARLEM co-presidents are not member of a Commission. Their role is to issue opinions to be adopted at the annual ARLEM Plenary Session.
1/ Commission for Economic, Social and Territorial Affairs (ECOTER)
Focus: Decentralisation, urban and territorial development, cultural cooperation, information society, migration and integration, small and medium-sized enterprises, commerce, etc.
Priorities in 2011:
- Small and medium entreprises (Rapporteur: Mr Fathallah Oualalou - Rabat/Morocco)
- The preservation and enhancement of cultural heritage (Rapporteur: Mr Asim Güzelbey - Gaziantep/Turkey)
Co-Chairs: Mr Ivan Jakovčić (Istria/Croatie) and Mr Luc Van den Brande (Flanders/Belgium)
2/ Commission for Sustainable Development (SUDEV)
Focus: Sustainable development, water management, waste management, energy, solar energy, transport, agriculture, tourism, etc.
Priorities in 2011:
- The relationship between desertification and climate change (Rapporteur: Mr Nichi Vendola - Puglia/Italy)
- Renewable energies (Rapporteur: Mr Michel Lebrun - Wallonia/Belgium)
Co-Chairs: Mr Mohamed Kebir Addou (Algiers/Algeria) and Mr Michel Vauzelle (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur/France)
The inaugural ARLEM meeting took place on 21 January 2010 at the Pedralbes Palace in Barcelona (Spain). The second plenary ARLEM meeting took place on 29 January 2011 in Agadir (Morocco). In Agadir, local and regional representatives reaffirmed their commitment to continue dialogue and cooperation between the three shores of the Mediterranean and called on partner countries to use devolution to promote economic, social and territorial development in the region. In this occasion, ARLEM obtained the status of permanent obervers in the UfM. This meeting enabled the members attending, who between them represented more than 40 different nationalities, to discuss three reports drawn up in the course of 2010. The first was on local water management (Rapporteur: Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso, President of the Region of Murcia/Spain), the second on urban development (Rapporteur: Khalid Al-Hnaifat, Mayor of Grand Tafilah/Jordan) and the last on the territorial dimension in the Union for the Mediterranean (Presented by Roser Clavell, Foreign Affairs Minister of the Regional Government of Catalonia/Spain). Once adopted, these ARLEM position papers will be sent to the UfM and its general secretariat.
The Assembly has also established its work programme for 2011, retaining four main themes: climate change (Rapporteur: NichiVendola, President of the Region of Puglia/Italy), renewable energies (Rapporteur: Michel Lebrun, Member of the Parliament of the French-speaking Community/Belgium), the role of small and medium enterprises in the Mediterranean (Rapporteur: Fathallah Oualalou, Mayor of Rabat/Morocco) and cultural heritage (Rapporteur: Asim Güzelbey, Mayor of Gaziantep/Turkey).
ARLEM members will meet for their next plenary session in January 2012 in Bari (Italy), following an invitation from the President of the Puglia Region, Nichi Vendola.
An integrated maritime strategy for the Mediterranean...
The European Commission will be launching soon the integrated maritime policy for the Mediterranean. You are invited to take part in the open on-line consultation. The Intermediterranean Commission will be making available the first results of its "Maritime Policy" Working Group for this purpose. The Conference held in Piran, Slovenia, on 10 June 2008 sets the tone. We are pleased to note that the Intermediterranean Commission is reported to be one of the "stakeholders" in the area...